Vic train works to cause commuter pain

Benita Kolovos
Commuters will face major disruption in January as work continues on Victoria's Metro Tunnel

Anyone catching a train to Melbourne's beaches in the January heat will face unprecedented disruptions, with several lines shut for Metro Tunnel works.

Sections of the busy Cranbourne, Pakenham, Frankston and Sandringham lines will shut between January 2 and 30, as excavation of the tunnel entrance at South Yarra begins.

Millions of commuters will face delays of up to an hour, with buses replacing trains for portions of their journey.

"It's work that's creating jobs, setting us up for the future and making sure our city and state will continue to move forward," Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters on Thursday.

"It will be inconvenient, it will cause a bit of pain for people moving around the city and suburbs but the alternative, of course, is to simply grind to a halt."

The shutdown coincides with the first week of the Australian Open, though the state government will provide buses to transport fans directly to the tennis.

Work will also continue on level crossing removals at Carrum, Cheltenham, Kooyong, Lyndhurst Mentone, Pakenham and Reservoir.

In the western suburbs, the West Gate Bridge will be closed for maintenance in December before a two-month shutdown of the ramps over the West Gate Freeway as lanes are widened.

Significant delays are expected and commuters are advised to plan ahead with information at bigbuild.vic.gov.au.